The access, availability and affordability of contraceptive and abortion services in India have been negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, exacerbating existing issues. Currently, the Government of India has considered these health services as essential during Covid-19. Through document review and interviews with key stakeholders, we found that women in India are facing significant barriers to accessing safe contraceptive and abortion services.
This is due to the reduction in routine services offered by health clinics, lack of education and outreach on how to access services, the overburdening of community-based workers who usually supply contraceptives and guide women on accessing sage abortion services, and poor access to transport. It is expected that if family planning services do not return to routine as soon as possible, there will be a significant rise in unwanted pregnancies and escalation in morbidity from increases in women attempting unsafe abortions.
Deepshikha Chhetri and Medhavi Gupta. (2020). Impacts and responses to unwanted pregnancies during COVID-19. Governance Alliance.